Usually only one or two candidates stand out for SEC Coach of the Year honors, but in 2012, we have three legitimate contenders for the award.
James Franklin, Vanderbilt
2012 Record: 8-4 overall, 5-3 SEC
Vanderbilt Career Record: 14-11
2012 Resume: Vanderbilt football keeps reaching new heights under James Franklin. He’s taken the school to their first-ever back-to-back bowl games, and they’ve won six games in a row for the first time since 1955. Franklin is not only changing the brand at Vandy, but he’s changing the culture with virtually the same roster he inherited back in 2010 from a team that went 2-10. Don’t look now, but the Commodores have won eight regular season games and are looking for a ninth win with a bowl game.
Will Muschamp, Florida
2012 Record: 11-1 overall, 7-1 SEC
Florida Career Record: 18-7
2012 Resume: Will Muschamp has totally transformed a soft, selfish Florida team back into a national contender in just two seasons. The Gators have the best resume of any team in college football, having beaten four top-ranked teams in Texas A&M, LSU, Florida State and South Carolina. The Gators’ offense might not be sexy, but the +17 turnover margin is, and a top five defense is the anchor for the Gators. Muschamp took over a program in shambles from Urban Meyer with talent but no discipline, and took the Gators from a 7-6 team in 2011 to 11-1 in 2012.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
2012 Record: 10-2
Texas A&M Career Record: 10-2
2012 Resume: Many thought Kevin Sumlin’s offense would not be as dynamic as it has been at Houston, but he has silenced all the critics with his flashy offense and fun coaching style. Oh, and winning 10 games with a freshman quarterback – and helping develop the likely Heisman winner – in the toughest division in all of college football isn’t so bad either. Sumlin guided his team to wins in six road games and defeated the #1 team in the country on their home turf in Alabama. The Aggies are currently third in the country in total offense, averaging 552 yards of offense and 44.8 points per game. The Aggies were 7-6 last season before Sumlin took over the reigns. What a year, and what a debut for Sumlin and the Aggies in the SEC.
Who gets your vote and why?
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